Mother disappointed in cruise ship's search efforts

Mother disappointed in cruise ship's search efforts
A'riel Marion (left), Vera Marion (right)
A'riel Marion (left), Vera Marion (right)
This photo was taken of A'riel Marion after she boarded "Allure of the Seas"
This photo was taken of A'riel Marion after she boarded "Allure of the Seas"

(WMC-TV) – The mother of the Bartlett woman who went overboard on a cruise ship is sharing details about her daughter's final moments and the search that followed her fall.

Ariel Marion reportedly went overboard Royal Caribbean's vessel "Allure of the Seas" at the beginning of a seven day cruise headed to Nassau on Sunday, September 17.

The last photos taken of Ariel Marion and her mother, Vera, show an excited mother and daughter who appear ready for the vacation.

Just hours after those photos were taken, a passenger reported she saw a woman go overboard.

By phone, Vera Marion shared information about the cruise and how ship security responded to the reports.

"They knew she had gone overboard. The woman called and said something from the deck fell and hit her arm. They immediately cleared off that side of the ship, but they never started the search," said Vera.

The ship departed port at 5 p.m. Within hours, Vera said another passenger called ship security after she said she felt A'Riel go overboard. .

"This is a very specific 911 call that a passenger from the cabin below was actually struck on the arm by the person who fell from the cabin above," said the Marion family's attorney, Brett Rivkan.

At 9:30 p.m., the ship's staff brought Vera to a secure room. Two hours later, the U.S. Coast Guard was called. At that time, the ship was 47 miles off of the coast of Fort Lauderdale.

At 1:30 a.m., the search for A'riel began.

The Coast Guard said it scoured more than 2,300 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean over two days.

"I believe they could save my daughter if they had began the search immediately. My daughter could swim a little bit. I told them that. They started asking me, 'Could she swim?' And that's when I panicked and knew that they knew that she had gone overboard," said Vera.

A candlelight vigil will be held for A'riel Marion on Tuesday at Oak Grove Baptist Church at 6 p.m.

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